Big rush for the gym is on

Estelle Ellis

PORT Elizabeth gyms are buzzing and the perspiration is flowing again as members return to exercise with a vengeance after a December when the turnstiles were only used by die-hard fitness bunnies.

Despite being named in a recent Discovery survey as the city where most people exercise, it seems that Port Elizabeth residents were dropping the weights and abandoning the treadmill as the festive season came around.

Helen Mentzel from Profiles said they had noticed for the past few years that in December gym attendance dwindled, but then picked up again in January. Gyms became especially busy once school holidays were over.

“I guess in December everybody goes to the beach and they are on holiday and then by January, everybody has their New Year’s resolutions to get back into shape.

“Gym attendance will dwindle again afterwards.”

It seems the new-found enthusiasm might be motivated by clothes for work that no longer fit. A recent survey done by the British Dietetic Association found that on average, people gained about 2kg in the four weeks over December and another 500g per week with New Year festivities.

Dr Craig Nossel, the head of Vitality Wellness, said: “Our data shows a sharp decrease in gym attendance during December and a pronounced increase in January – which is expected, given New Year’s resolutions linked to fitness and a desire to burn off the excesses of the festive season.”

Michelle Bailey from Curves in Walker Drive said she had noticed that their regular members were all returning to the gym from this week.

“By 5.40am all our regular members were here for their training,” she said.

“We do make provision for travelling members to exercise at another club. Normally our members are very dedicated.”

Former Bay FM DJ turned construction consultant Theo Klaas, who trains at Profiles, said he started his training programme four days ago.

“If you want that hot body, you have to work for it. Got to look fab for next summer,” he said.

It was all about New Year’s resolutions for those hitting the gym in January, readers said on Facebook.

Janri Heymans said she would be getting back to action next week.

“I went to gym last year, but it is no use going to the gym if you can’t adjust what you eat. I am looking forward to going back and my mission for this year is to lose 20 to 30kg,” she said.

“I kept to my New Year’s resolution last year to quit smoking and this year it will only be to lose weight.”

Fergul de Buys said his stomach “took the decision” for him. Loyiso Myataza agreed. “My big belly is my motivation,” he said.

Some of our readers said they had never been away. Dale Robertson said he had been working out for six years now and “I would go on Christmas Day as well if I could”.

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